Winnifred Mabel Bane Hamrick
1918 - 2010
Winnifred Bane Hamrick, a pianist, was a child prodigy who performed often as a soloist in her earlier years and then as a duo pianist with her husband, a musically talented minister, on numerous occasions. A classical musician by training and preference, she also played as needed in evangelistic meetings.
Winnifred was born in London, England, on July 2, 1922, the only child of Stanley and Winnifred Irene Taylor Bane. The family emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1920, where he worked in various positions for the Adventist church. Winnifred started piano lessons while very young and gave her first recital at age five.
She attended the Toronto Conservatory of Music, where she completed all requirements for an ATCM (Associate of the Toronto Conservatory of Music) at age sixteen. Shortly after this, she was a soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony, Josef Chermiavsky conducting. She then completed all requirements for a degree from the London Royal Schools of Music in 1940.
Bane maintained a large private piano studio in Toronto and was a pianist for an evangelistic series conducted by Clifford A. Reeves in the winter of 1942-1943. She also participated in a ten-member piano ensemble directed by Mona Bates that was sponsored by the Canadian Red Cross. This group raised $20,000 to assist that organization during World War II.
In the summer of 1943, Bane attended a Conference of Sacred Music conducted by Homer Rodeheaver in Indiana, and that fall became head of the music program at Adelphian Academy in Holly, Michigan. While teaching at AA, she wrote an article about the role of the pianist in evangelism that was published in the May 1944 issue of Ministry, a magazine for Adventist ministers.
In 1944, she accepted an invitation to join the music faculty at Washington Missionary College, now Washington Adventist University, where she taught piano at the college and also at nearby Takoma Academy. While teaching at WMC, she married Jonathan Levi Hamrick, Jr., ministerial intern in the Potomac Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and a talented pianist who held a teaching certificate from Washington College of Music. In the fall of her second year at the college, he assisted the Voice of Prophecy group as their pianist while they conducted a revival meeting in the newly constructed Sligo Church on the edge of the campus.
The Hamricks' shared interest in music and ability as pianists led them to perform frequently as a piano duo at that time and then throughout the rest of their lives, wherever they lived. They released a record, Moods in Ivory, through Chapel Records in the early 1960s.
She also continued to give recitals that attracted large and in some instances overflow audiences. One given at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in 1954 was reviewed in the Hagerstown, Maryland, Daily Mail, which, after noting the standing-room only audience, praised the orchestra-like sonorities she obtained and "her ability to make the slow-moving melodic material resound above a wealth of figurations" in a work by J.S. Bach.
The Hamricks would serve congregations in the Columbia Union Conference for almost eighteen years, before moving to California in 1963 to serve in the San Diego North Park Church. During those years on the East Coast, they had been featured as pianists in the Atlantic City Youth Congress in 1960 and in three General Conference sessions.
While in California, Jonathan graduated with a degree (J.D.) from the United States International University, California Western School of Law, in 1971. They returned to the East Coast in 1972 and two years later moved to Grand Ledge, Michigan, where he served as an administrator in the Lake Union Conference, eventually serving as director of the religious liberty and public affairs and stewardship department. Winnifred taught music in the 1970s at Grand Ledge Academy.
When the Hamricks retired in 1985, he received a House Concurrent Resolution from the Michigan House of Representatives, with the senate concurring, that praised him for his integrity and professionalism and his effectiveness in representing his church at many public hearings about labor issues. The church also expressed its appreciation for his service and the Hamricks' musical contributions.
They retired to San Diego, California, to be near their two sons, Jonathan and Warren, and their grandchildren. They were residing there when Jonathan died on February 15, 1996, at age 73. Winnifred was residing in San Luis Obispo when she died on June 2, 2010, at age 92.
Sources: Canadian Union Messenger, 7 June 1938, 6; 28 January 1941, 7; 6 October 1943, 7; Ministry, May 1944, 20; The Youth's Instructor, 24 October 1944, 9; The Sligonian, 26 January 1945; 1945 SDA Yearbook, 252; Columbia Union Visitor, 1 November 1945, 5; 26 April 1962, 10; December 1959, 10 (obituary for John Hamerick); 28 February 1963, 3; 8 August 1963, 5; 21 December 1972, 21; Hagerstown, Maryland, Daily Mail , 29 March 1954, 1; 1 November 1954, 1; Lake Union Herald, 27 September 1960, 9; 13 May 1975, 12; 8 October 1974, 12; 25 May 1976, 10; 24 April 1984, 13;2 July 1985, 2; Pacific Union Recorder, November 1963; 26 October 1964, 1; 28 May 1970, 8; 21 October 1996; August 2010, Winnifred death notice; Canadian Messenger, July/August 1988 (Stanley Bane obituary); Social Security Death Index records; email from Catherine Brown Titus, June 2011..